For more information on any particular meeting, please check with your department reps or contact the GSA
April 30, 2013
- PAS: Ronna Kalish still has spaces on the program for shows; she’s interested in suggestions. The officers will decide how much we give to PAS. In the summer, the GSA will be asked which shows to sponser.
- General Announcements
- GSA/CGS picnic was a HUGE success. About 250 people showed up, and we raised ~$100 for the graduate student scholarship fund.
- Tax/stipend recommendation was made to the Graduate Council; the decision was basically to not change anything. We are still interested in student feeback.
- Fall travel grant deadline is Jun 5
- Thesis Bootcamps is June 3 – 7. It’s a 1-credit course; deadline is May 10.
- SGA Announcements: The tuition is being increased by 4.5%. The administration is going to try to make the budget more transparent, so that we can know WHERE our money is going. Email us for more information.
- Graduate Council Announcements
- Graduate Foundation is setup to receive patent profits.
- Lorie has managed to increase the TA stipends some.
- Graduate Recruitment material: need volunteers of grad students willing to talk about their research for a short video.
- Computing on Campus Committee Announcements
- The security policy is currently on review. NMT has reached the point of getting audited for security issues, so a new policy is needed.
- GSA Constitution update
- We haven’t been able to get ahold of Tony (who had volunteered to translate our Constitution notes into legalize). If we haven’t heard from him (~in the next week), then we will probably go to Gerity for help.
- Budget update: Everything is GREAT.
- GSA Elections: At the time of the meeting, we only had 2 volunteers. Currently, we are up to 4 volunteers. We need 1 more volunteer, or else the GSA will not be operating within it’s Constitution, which means that the GSA won’t exist, which means that NO students will get travel grants from the GSA until officers are found.
April 9, 2013
- Spring Picnic: April 25 at 5:30!!!!
- We need help spreading the word. Whether you want to hang a flyer or just tell the people on your hall, please help us get all the graduate students (and their families) to the picnic.
- This is also a potluck; we are solicitating for desserts and side dishes. There will be plenty of hamburgers, BBQ, veggie burgers, and veggie trays.
- A number of businesses around town have donated prizes for the raffle!! there are a number of ways that you can get a ticket:
- As a graduate student, you’ve been earning points for volunteering and attending meetings. You can apply those points towards raffle tickets (1 point = 1 ticket)
- You can bring a dish that feeds 10 people (1 dish = 1 ticket)
- You can pay $5/ticket. All funds raised will be used to start up a scholarship fund for students in need of tuition assistance (please contact us for more information)
- Admin Appreciation Day: we’re looking for volunteers to help us thank the administration for their help throughout this year. Please email us if you are interested.
- GSA Constitution Update: our notes are being written into legalize.
- SGA Update:
- April 27: SGA Lottery Scholarship Summit is being held to discuss a a permanent solution for the Lottery Scholarship program
- April 17, 5:30PM: Student Admin Forum; they will be specifically discussing the possibility of a tuition increase
- April 17, 11:30 – 1PM: Leadership Luncheon; free lunch in the Dining Hall area, with President Lopez speaking. Feel free to stop by at any time.
- The Librarian may need to cut some of our journal subscriptions! The Regents are trying to find additional funds, but make use of the journals or risk losing them.
- Faculty Senate Update:
- From the Legislature: there are a lot of anti-higher education bills this past session, but most were killed in committee. NMT did get additional funding to finish the Geology Building and some funding to try to replace the parking that will be lost. There was no formula funding fix proposed, but the formula is not any worse yet either.
- Dr. Lopez is trying for another pay raise for faculty, staff, and administration. He has suggested that he will try to raise tuition an additional 2-5% to cover this raise.
- Items <$5,000 (except computers) are removed from inventory.
- Grad Council Update
- Stipend/Tax Recommendation: the Committee has written an “Abridge Report” to summarize their findings thus far. This report can be downloaded here. The committee is working on a survey to ask students for their thoughts about a tuition waiver. To get invovled in this, please email us.
- Spring Fling
- Open Forum
- ELECTIONS!! We need officers for the next year!
- As you know, the minimum stipend for a TA is much lower than for an RA. Lorie has been working to fix this, and next year we should see some progress!
March 19, 2013
- Student Research Symposium: The SRS is April 5. They are looking for volunteers to review posters and presentations. They will work with any schedule. To sign up, go to the SRS website
- Lorie is working on getting the minimum TA stipend to be increased to meet the RA minimums
- Know how we have to pay our own tuition, but our stipend is increased to accommodate that? Well, NMSU and UNM are likely going to switching to our method. The logic here is (of course) related to taxes: Students must still pay taxes on the tuition. While we pay taxes on the tuition all year long, they currenly have to pay the taxes in one lump sum.
- Stipo et al. are still going to be evaluating if there is more benefit to us to switch to a tuition waiver.
- When filing taxes, anyone who is a resident (or a resident for tax purposes) is eligible for the Lifetime Learning Credit (with a maximum of $4,000/year) OR tax code IRC 127 (with a maximum of $5,200/year).
- Spring Picnic: Spring “Potluck”! Set for Thursday, April 25 at 5PM, on the lawn between Driscoll Hall and Brown Hall. The event will be combined with CGS, to make it even better. There will be games and raffles for prizes (prizes TBD):
- Use your volunteer points (1 ticket/point)
- Bring a dish to feed 10 people (1 ticket/dish)
- Donate to the Graduate Student Scholarship Fund (1 ticket/$5)
- Constitution Update: the rough draft has been sent to Tony for a transformation to legalize.
- Faculty Senate: Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning (CITL) courses are always open to students. The schedule is available on the NMT calendar, and we will post events to our calendar as we see them.
- Spring Fling is approaching (schedule soon); ALL STUDENTS are welcome to take part in events!
- All students are allowed to request funding from the SGA in the form of a Senate Bill. A new ruling on their Constitution requires that all requests come from individual students or official SGA clubs.
- Graduate Council:
- TA Positions: There has been increasing concern over the limited number of TA positions in various departments. VP Gerity balances the university budget and assigns the TA budget to each department. This is based on historical numbers AND an “thorough evalution of performance and efficiency”. It was pointed out, quite emphatically, that TA positions are meant to further the education of UNDERGRADUATES. That’s right, you’re TA is supposed to in service to undergraduate education.
- It is worth mentioning that Lorie is actively trying to find alternate avenues to assist graduate students (other than putting them a TA, that is). This may take the form of a scholarship fund that will help to pay for tuition for graduate students that find themselves running out of research funding but still have 1/2 semesters to complete their degree. She would appreciate additional suggestions.
- We asked the SGA if undergraduates are noticing a shortage of TA’s in their lab classes, they specifically named: ES 111, Physics short of sections, Chemistry couldn’t do certain labs because or shortage.
- Open Forum: there is a new Graduate Coordinator! Megan McElroy will be transferring to CGS. Megan will work closely with Debbie and Lorie, and will work to develop new graduate programs (like electronic versions of forms and professional development).
February 19, 2013
- Travel Grant Awards: We got $9,200 in requests, and awarded $7,500! We are receiving a lot of applications and they have vastly improved in quality (which is EXCELLENT); however, that means that the committees are often finding themselves with 2 applications that are equal on every level and having to decide which to award. As a tie-breaker, the GSA is going to advise committees to refer to the past volunteering of the applicants. That means that volunteering is even more important!!
- Dean of Graduate Student Announcements
- Students can use “Purchase Cards” (P-Card) to pay for airfare! You can use your department’s P-Card (talk to your department chair or secretary). If you have a GSA Travel Grant you will soon be able to use the GSA P-Card (we’re working on getting one). This means that you won’t have to pay out of pocket for those often expensive plane tickets!
- If you have gone a trip that is more than 24 hours, you ARE able to get a pro-rated per diem for partial days (like if you traveled for 32 hours, then you should get 1.3 per diem). Contact us if you’re having trouble with that part of the travel reimbursement.
- CGS is working on hiring a new person to help Debbie in the office. That should help us get things done!
- Graduate Council Updates:
- NMT will be offering an entrepenuer pilot course this summer. Raul Deju will be the instructor (he was here last year and gave a talk about his experiences). Go here for more information: http://www.nmt.edu/entrepreneurship. Please be aware that you will have to apply by March 31.
- The Air Force Research Lab is seeking out collaborations with NMT. They have contacted a number of faculty about possible projects. If you have an idea for a project that the AFRL might be interested in and are looking for funding, then we can try to put you in touch with the appropriate professor.
- There have been a lot of changes to course programs (like Physics). If you’re concerned, then you should talk to your department.
- NMT will be accepting IELTS (International English Language Testing System) scores as well as TOEFL (Test Of English as a Foreign Language) scores.
- If you have to get an incomplete in a class, then there is a new “Grade Improvement Form”. On this form you and your professor must explain the reason for the Incomplete and include details for how you will complete the course.
- There is going to be a new 500-level theater class. You will have to get it approved by your committee.
- Faculty Senate Updates
- There is a Tax Severance Bond in the State Legislature right now. There is extra money on it for the Bureau of Geology building, but not for anything else (like other projects on campus or raises).
- There a couple of new proposals in the State Legislature to attempt to make the State Lottery Scholarship Program solvent. If you are concerned about this, then contact us and we can get you more information. The SGA is actively investigating this.
- There is a bill in the State Legislature that would add a faculty member to the Board of Regents for each university, but not NMT. The Faculty Senate is trying to change that bill.
- The Campus Computing Committee made the following report:
- Email server will be changing to either Google or Microsoft 365; they will be testing on campus soon and will be soliciting opinions of faculty, staff, and students.
- There is a HUGE spoofing problem everywhere just now. Please be aware! The TCC points us here for more information on spoofing: http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/webhead/2002/03/email_impersonators.html.
- They are still working on finding wireless blind spots on campus, if you find any then let us know and we will pass on the information.
- Spring Picnic
- Given a budget of $1,000.
- We’re GOOD! We are on track to having a buffer in the budget.
- Open Forum
- Stipo has volunteered to restart the Tuition Waiver Committee. The goal of this group will be to evaluate the question of a tuition waiver for graduate students on contract. As it stands our stipend is inflated to allow us to pay for our tuition. This effectively shifts the tax burden on to us, with the logic that we get most of the taxes back through education credit. Some of the questions to be considered include: do we get the taxes back? how are international students affected? what are the other possible downsides of the current system?
January 29, 2013
- Faculty Senate:
- A number of changes have been made to the course catalog for E&ES, Math, and Physics. If you are interested in learning specifics about these changes, then please contact the department or the GSA
- CLASS department has (will have) a new “Graduate Certification in Technical Communication”
- Academic Calendar is shifting (starting Fall 2013); refer to the Registrar’s website for details (http://www.nmt.edu/registrars-office/).
- There is $10,000 available to be used for campus improvements. If you have a suggestion for how this money can be used, then contact the GSA.
- Travel Grant Deadline (Friday, Feb 1, 11:59PM)
- Students now to receive submission confirmation emails
- Some students have an issue with getting their advisor to submit the Letter of Recommendation (without the letter, the application is incomplete and not considered). We will be considering how best to make sure that these students do not get punished because of their advisers inattention.
- PAS/Tech Club
- Did you know that you can attend those little dinner-like events that often preceed PAS shows? Well you can! The GSA pays for 10 memberships, and therefore graduate students are invited to these Macey Tech Club Events.
- Do you wish that there was a way to get cheaper tickets for your family? Well, if you get your tickets directly from the PAS office in Macey, then you can get half-off tickets for your family (and your own free ticket).
- Ronna (email@example.com) is starting to build the program for next year, and she would love your feedback. Did you love one of the shows this year, and want to see more like it? Did you really dislike one of the shows? Do you know of a group that is touring, and that she could try to book? If so, then contact Ronna.
- Student Research Symposium
- Registration deadline: Feb 1, Noon
- SRS: April 5
- SRS is also looking for volunteers to review presentations and “Extended Abstracts” (note, this is actually more like a 10 page paper). If you’re interested, then contact the SRS at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
- Constitution Committee Update
- Skeleton Constitution is complete, and the legalese will be incorporated. We will make it available for review and then vote on it later in the semester.
- Tax/Stipend Committee
- The committee was disbanded due to lack of participation. A suggestion was made to try again, since now its tax season and everyone SHOULD have their paperwork all together soon-ish. The goal of this committee was to evaluate the tax situation of grad students; specifically, the administration claims that we get back all of the taxes that we pay on our tuition in the form of a tax credit, but do we really?
- If you are interested in participating, or would simply like to contribute your own tax information, e.g. Adgusted Gross Income, Taxable Income, thencontact the GSA.
- Some time soon, we intend to put out a call for everyone’s information.
- Current GSA Budget: everything is GOOD! As of the end of 2012 budget report, we are not only in the black, but we are plus MORE than we expected. That means that we are on track to being solvent with a buffer.
- Spring Picnic:
- Planning has commenced! If you’d like to join the planning (and get some points in the process), then email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Open Forum
- INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS: Please take extra caution with filing your taxes this year. There are some reports that the NMT International Office has been having you do things incorrectly. We will post more information as we have it.
- New Mexico Tech has a weekly electronic newsletter that features upcoming events, special announcements, links to news articles and other timely items. This is sent only once a week (Tuesday mornings) so signing up won’t fill your in-box with spam. This offering is an opt-in system, meaning you have to sign up. Visit the online calendar (www.nmt.edu/nmt-calendar) and simply fill in your name and email address to receive this once-a-week email.Also, student clubs and organizations can add events to the calendar and the e-newsletter by using the “Add Event” feature at the same website.
November 28, 2012
- Travel Grant Awards
- $6500 awarded (pending acceptance); $7500 had been budgeted
- 2 late applications were rejected: make sure that if you intend to apply that you get the letter of recommendation submitted on time. While traditionally this letter is written by your adviser, any professor that is familiar with your research and with your travel plans can write the letter.
- Thanksgiving dinner
- Huge success (even without mashed potatoes and gravy)
- Collected ~300 cans for Puerto Seguro
- International Students
- International Office is currently short-staffed, the result is that most paperwork must be generated through UNM. Because this has huge implications on the graduate students (about half of whom are international), the GSA is going to try to push the administration to hire someone soon.
- One month turn around time on changes to forms (like the I20)
- Urgent matters should be directed to Lillian Armijo (email@example.com); signatures can be obtained in the same way as usual
- There were a lot of questions about the different policies that exist for International students. Things like: what is the policy for disenrolling students? does the administration consider the minimum incomes required for students to maintain their Visa? Sarah H. has volunteered to start compiling information that might be useful for international students to have on hand. If you have information to provide or questions that you would like answered, then please contact the GSA at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Thesis/Dissertation Bootcamp: Jan 7-11; must register for the 1 credit COMM 589 class as well as fill out the bootcamp paperwork.
- Other possibly interesting courses are: Science Writing for General Audiences; Science Writing for ESL Students
- Formula Funding: A proposal to change the formula has been presented to the State. This formula would result in less funding for NMT. More details will be posted to this website later. Also, the GSA will draft a form letter for students to send to their representative; this will be sent out in an email in a couple of weeks. If you would like to contact Representative Don Tripp (the Socorro rep) on your own this is his contact information:
Representative Don Tripp
Socorro, NM 87801
- Property/Travel Office Issues: The Faculty Senate has created an “Efficiency Committee” to attempt to help the administration streamline some of the various processes. If you have comments, suggestions, or horror stories to share, please contact the GSA and we will relay that information.
- Constitution Committee Updates: the skeleton constitution is almost complete. Voting to pass the constitution will happen in the Spring.
November 5, 2012
- Travel Grant Deadline (November 13 at 11:59PM) – remember the policy change; refer to the Travel Grants Guidelines (section 1.3) for more details or contact us for questions.
- Committee Updates:
- Thanksgiving Committee: Thanksgiving dinner will be Monday, November 19 at 6:30PM at Bodega Burger. Entry will be 2 canned food donations. There will be a contest for most canned food donated. Bodega will have an open cash bar; $1 off beers.
- Constitution Committee: Committee has been formed; meeting will be soon; detailed outline will be created by the end of the semester.
- Tuition/Stipend: A meeting was held to begin to figure out all of the issues that need to be addressed. It was decided that the committee would start by analyzing our own taxes to determine whether we would have benefited from a waiver or not. We will eventually contact individuals to grow our statistical sample. The end product of the committee will be a document that explains our results, including a description of the calculation, which will be made publicly available. We hope that this will eventually be voted on by the graduate student body to determine whether or not they would prefer a waiver.
- Open Discussion
- What’s the status of the M grant? At last check, last Spring, the M grant account was still low of funds. It will continue to be monitored. Hopefully we will have enough funds to begin awarding the M grant again. Deadlines are usually in the Spring.
- NM Chemistry Symposium: http://infohost.nmt.edu/~chem/symp/index.html; it will be this Friday
- Further discussion about taxes, tuition, and stipend took place. If you have an opinion that you’d like to share, then please email us or use our Forum.
- Next Meeting: WEDNESDAY, November 28 at 1PM.
October 15, 2012
- The process to create or edit your Graduate Committee can be done through your BanWeb account (no more chasing people for signatures).
- As you probably noticed, the TCC has migrated to a new Spam Filter Service. Make sure that you edit your settings to NOT block GSA emails.
- Meeting Reports:
- Faculty Senate: they have a new Chair (Dr. Richard Sonnenfeld).
- SGA Meeting: 49ers is this week, so you should make sure to attend! Check out the schedule: http://www.nmt.edu/nmt-news/347-2012/4553-49ers-celebration-schedule.
- Graduate Council:
- Math department is adding new minors
- Technical Communications is beginning the formation of a graduate program (first a certification will be available, then a Masters)
- Each department will be doing a “profile”; this is primarily for recruiting purposes.
- Constitution Update:
- Committee will meet soon; if you are not involved and want to be, then email us.
- Self appointed deadlines: skeleton by January 2013, final product by May 2013.
- Thanksgiving Dinner Update: Dinner will be Monday, November 19, and will include a raffle. Donations for non-perishable food items will be collected.
- Addition to GSA Grants Policy: the change was finalized and approved at the meeting. For details about the addition, refer to the Travel Grants Submission Guidelines, and contact us if you have questions.
- Open Discussion:
- A number of additional travel issues were discussed, including problems getting reimbursed in a “timely fashion” (data from 1 department shows that 1 month is the typical wait time), booking travel through a department travel agent (this keeps the bill off your credit card, but you should make sure to give them the information for the exact flight that you want), partial days on travel (if you’re gone less than 24 hours, then per diem is not reimbursed). Lorie will take most of this to the administration on our behalf.
- We are being transitioned to an electronic version of the travel form.
- Is there a thesis template available in Word? We don’t know of one. Does anyone know if this exists and where to find it?
- A committee is being formed to evaluate the tuition/stipend options as they relate to our taxes. As you probably know, you have to pay for your own tuition. The reason for this is tied to Tech’s interpretation of tax laws: they have decided to shift the tax burden onto the students with the rationale that most of us are eligible for the various education credits. That means that we get most of (if not all of or more than) the taxes that we paid get in the form of a reimbursement from the government. The committee will have the task of determining the actual numbers: what’s the average amount paid by students in taxes due to tuition, what’s the average amount that student’s get back from the government, etc. If tuition were waived for students on a contract, then what are the benefits and problems? The information will eventually be presented to the administration and students, and the students will likely be asked to participate in a poll about whether or not they want tuition to be waived. If you’d like to take part in this conversation or serve on the committee, then pleasecontact us.
- Next meeting is November 5.
September 24, 2012
- Election Results
- SGA Meeting
- If you are in a club and are going on a (costly) trip, then consider if you can apply for a GSA travel grant. If you can legitimately claim that the trip will benefit your degree, then you may be able to get funding. Note that the GSA cannot fund a club, but can fund individuals; the SGA can fund a club, but cannot fund individuals.
- Future GSA Meetings: we will meet October 15, November 5, and November 26 at 1PM in Library 212 (unless you are notified otherwise). Mark your calendars!
- Recycling Program: This is a joint effort with the SGA and several clubs on campus. Things are moving forward, and we’re hopeful of having a small-scale version in place by 49ers. If you (or your club) want to help, then contact us at email@example.com.
- Thanksgiving Dinner: A small committee has been formed and will be starting to plan the dinner. General details should be formed and a budget should be set by next meeting. If you’d like to join, then please contact the GSA.
- Constitution Committee: The committee has been formed and will soon begin the process of overhauling the Constitution. If you’d like to join, then please contact the GSA.
- The GSA is considering establishing a policy by which departments that are inactive, i.e. have not department representatives, will not be eligible to receive GSA Funding. This means that students from those departments will not be able to receive GSA Travel Grants. A suggestion was made to ensure that individual students can appeal to a committee based on exceptional circumstances, e.g. students that volunteer regularly but can’t attend meetings (and therefore can’t be representatives for their department) or new students who haven’t been able to volunteer. Additional feedback is appreciated.
- An issue regarding student travel was raised. The student has been having trouble getting reimbursed for travel. For more information, refer to our FAQ page.
- Dr. Gerity has approved the establishment of a Diversity Center on campus. This center would be a lounge that serves to “display the diversity at NMT”. Location is TBD. Currently the CGS is collecting cultural artwork to display. If you’d like to loan or donate a piece of culturally significant artwork, then please contact the CGS.
September 5, 2012
- Update of SGA summer activities
- Faculty Senate meeting
- Record number of incoming students
- Working on Formula Funding with state
- Club Fair Friday 9/7
- Career Fair 9/20
- Van Romero is putting together a video promo for various research facilities around campus
- New academic integrity policy
- Working on promoting graduate studies at NMT and within the state
- Working on having graduate students speak to state reps and discuss how grad student research is helping the state
- TA/RA stipends have been increased to coincide with increased tuition costs
- Tuition is no longer tax deductible?
- All officer positions are open
- Elections will be held online
- Nominations for positions are open until Friday Sept 14
- Voting Closes September 21
- New point system in place
- Points can be used toward PAS events that cost money, travel grants
- Needed for Constitution Committee, Travel Grants Committee, and Thanksgiving Dinner Committee
- Future travel grants will be due at 11:59 instead of 5:00pm
- No late applications accepted
- 5 travel grants successfully submitted
- Within budget
- Working on building a buffer
TA Travel (Presidential Fund)
- $8,000 available each year
- Only available if travel is academically beneficial
- Per Diem rates for Federal and State
- Possible recycling program on campus?
June 27, 2012
- Volunteer opportunities: July 4 BBQ at Macey; Constitution Committee
- Travel Award Report: For the Fall travel period, we were able to award 100% of the requests (although there were only 2 applicants). The unused amount will roll over to the Winter travel period IF it is needed.
- Budget Report: everything is still copacetic.
- President’s Fund: Travel Policy Committee met and a recommendation has been forwarded to the President’s office. If you have questions regarding the fund, our recommendation, or the policy itself, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we either answer the question or point you in the right direction.
- Elections: We will hold elections in Fall 2012. Officers will serve for ONE FULL year (meaning that their term will end Fall 2013). All positions are open. If you are interested, then please contact us at email@example.com.
April 18, 2012
- Spring Flung starts today! Refer to the calendar for a full schedule.
- Spring Picnic is Thursday 4/26 @ 5:00pm Patio between Fidel, Wells, and the Gym. We will need volunteers; email firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up.
- Grad Office (CGS) BBQ & Potluck is May 1 @ 5:30 pm on the south lawn between Brown Hall and Driscoll; bring side dishes or desserts or help cook. They will need volunteers; email email@example.com to sign up.
- Nominations for Professor of the Year deadline is Thursday, April 19; email firstname.lastname@example.org to nominate your favorite professor.
- Administrative Professionals Day Wednesday April 25th; the GSA will be passing out cards and small gifts to the many administrative staff on campus. We are looking for volunteers to help with this. Either email us at email@example.com or show up at our office April 25 at 9AM.
- SA Meeting
- Paydirt’s last issue will be out at the end of the month, and as always they are looking for content. Deadline for content is April 24, and you could get paid; click here for details.
- KTEK has been undergoing some serious improvements, with even more planned for the future. Click here for more information.
- PAS is very interested in getting student input on the shows she brings to Tech. She wants feedback (did you love it or hate it?) and suggestions for future shows. Like them on Facebook and start voicing your opinion!
- SA Elections were yesterday: Sohaib remains president, Caitlin Guenther (former Senator) is VP, several new senators; new constitution passed. FYI: we are likely going to try to adopt a very similar model for operations, more on that later.
- Student Admin Forum
- As always, there were lots of great questions asked, and some very interesting answers. We will eventually have a full list of these posted.
- Constitution Committee: the Constitution needs to be updated, and Gus will be heading up a committee to get this process going. If you are interested in helping shape the Constitution, then you should probably read it and email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Volunteer Incentives: Since most of the grad students here won’t volunteer just for the warm fuzzies it gives, we have devised an incentive program. Once it’s finalized it will be posted on the Volunteers page.
- Travel Policy Committee: Remember all that fuss about TA’s traveling on grants? The solution was to have a separate fund where all students (TA’s, RA’s, undergrads) can request funding. We will be forming a recommendation on how they administer that fund. Interested? Email us at email@example.com.
- Budget Update: For the first time in a long time, we are spending neutral! We will be slowly working on building a nice big budgetary cushion. Questions? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Student and Faculty/Staff Appreciation Awards. Have nominations? Send them to email@example.com by Thursday, April 19.
- American Physical Society 4-Corners Regional Conference is being held at NMT in October, and the GSA has been tapped as a potential sponsor. We are going to try to provide some support, and once we know the state of our budget next year we will settle on an amount.
March 28, 2012
- Upcoming events:
- ArcAttack on Friday with Up Close & Personal (Q&A) on Thursday (Don’t forget to RSVP!)
- SRS April 13:
- Spring Fling April 18-April 22
- PhD Movie (need volunteers) Wed, April 18: points for volunteering that can either be applied to your application or towards your club.
- Spring Picnic April 26: volunteers needed!
- CGS Picnic (?): If you want to possibly have some more free food that will be paid for by the Center for Graduate Studies, then let us know when you think is a good time for it!
- Health Insurance Update: We have interviewed the insurance companies and will hopefully start negotiating soon. Premiums will be going up, but benefits will be improved: no more internal cap for prescriptions, out of pocket max of $5000, and preventative care will be covered at 100%. There are some more improvements, contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more specific information.
- Graduate Student Activity fee will be increasing by 10%. This will help pay for more travel grants and to have enough to pay the SA for services they provide
- NMT student travel grant policy recommendation committee: the administration is looking for a recommendation on their travel grant policy (this is the travel grant that was established to solve the “TA travel” problem). If you are interested in sitting on this committee, then please contact the GSA email@example.com.
March 7, 2012
- Grades: Remember all that grade change stuff everyone has been talking about? It’s in effect now. That means that, starting this semester, there is no more “Incomplete” or “Satisfactory”. Research/thesis type credits will either receive a U (unsatisfactory) or a PR (progress). PR will indicate that you have made sufficient progress, so make sure that you and your adviser agree about what is sufficient.
- More grades: There is a proposal in the Faculty Senate to create an ‘A+’ grade. They’d like some student opinion on this. Do you think that there should be an ‘A+’ grade? If so, do you think that ‘A+’ should be worth more GPA points than an ‘A’? Please contact the GSA if you interested in joining this discussion.
- Student Admin Forum: April 3, 5:30PM; this is your opportunity to ask questions of the administration. Questions may be required in advance, so start thinking!
- Comparative Study: Lorie (Graduate Dean) has completed her comparative study; she considered the stipend paid by UNM, NMSU, and NMT and factored in the tuition paid, health insurance paid, room/board, and cost of living. The results are that NMT pays its RA’s better, but UNM pays its TA’s better (NMSU is way behind us). She sent the results to the administration with the following suggestions: raise the lower limit for TA’s to be competitive with UNM, raise the upper limit for RA’s, provide some sort of incentive for students that were raised in NM, update department budgets so that they can afford to pay the TAs. She is looking for input, so if you’d like to see how she did the calculation, then email her: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- SRS Reviewers: Are you interested in being a reviewer for the Student Research Symposium? Go here: http://www.nmt.edu/student-research-symposium for more information and to register as a reviewer
- Lights on Athletic Field: The entire athletic field is being re-vamped. Part of that will be to include lighting. Right now they are trying to decide on the placement of the lights. Let us know if you have an opinion on that.
- Game Room Fee: The Game Room fee is now permanent. That means that you will be paying for the game room, so you might as well use it
- Tuition increase: Tuition goes up every year. This year, Dr. Lopez wants to have a 4% increase that will help to provide a 2% pay raise for faculty. I’m sure that our stipends will be similarly increased, but the GSA is going to stay on top of that.
- Graduate Student Activity fee increase: The fee didn’t go up last year, and the year before there was a 10% increase. The GSA wants to have another 10% increase (this will increase the fees from $75.31 to $82.84). With the extra funds, they will be able to fund more travel grants and provide more services for the graduate student population.
February 15, 2012
- The PhD movie will be shown at Macey Center on Wednesday, April 18 to kick off Spring Fling. This is free for students. If you would like to help, email Alisa at email@example.com
- Planning for the spring picnic is underway. If you would like to help, email firstname.lastname@example.org
- There is now an SA rep in the GSA and the GSA has had reps in the SA so all Tech SAs are now repped.
- The state funding formula for schools has changed. As a result, no no grades (I, OG, etc.) are rewarded. Everything is either a letter grade or S/U. Be sure your adviser knows this and acts accordingly. It would also be useful to have any previous no grades changed.
- The graduate dean is looking into how Tech’s graduate students’ cash in pocket compares to the other state universities. This would be your stipend minus tuition, health care, cost of living, etc. Tax bracket issues are being looked into. This includes eligibility for financial aide based on taxable income. Also if you receive a research grant, be wary of this can effect your income and how it may be taxed. Don’t get stuck with a big bill come tax time.
- If you would like the Writing Center to proof read your dissertation/ thesis, get in contact with them early in the semester. Don’t expect them to do it in two weeks
- The Oral Presentation Center is available to give a mock presentation and receive pointers. Go get yourself recorded.
- There are wide variety of communications classes to take if you are interested, such as creative writing
- Writing classes for non-native English speakers are available
- A Conversation Cafe for non-native English speakers and their spouses is in the works. This is to give people the opportunity to work on conversational English, especially spouses.
- The Student Research Symposium is looking for reviewers and mentors. Contact Mary Dezember at email@example.com if you are interested.
- Other items:
- Redefining the word count and grading criteria for the GSA travel grants was brought up. The current guidelines are found here http://infohost.nmt.edu/~gsa/. If you have an opinion, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
- There is a link to a Doodle poll to find a time to discuss the health insurance proposals here, http://infohost.nmt.edu/~gsa/
- The non-RA travel policy is in place to comply with federal and state policies (cover Tech’s ass). A travel fund is in place and guidelines are how to apply are being worked out. Currently, just get your adviser to talk to the travel dept. You can volunteer for the committee to work on the guidelines. Contactgsa@nmt.edu
- The GSA has a printer to print your thesis. Let them know a week before hand. Details on how to check out equipment (computers and such) from the GSA are being worked on.
- Not only are all Tech SAs properly repped, there is even a contract between them now.
- More dept. reps are needed
January 25, 2012
- Reminder that summer travel grant deadline is Feb 1st
- Need volunteers for review committee
- Student Association meeting reported on
- SA has about $6k more in funds this semester, senators were encouraged to come up with ideas for the money. A mural above the waterfall near Jones Annex was mentioned.
- New baseball club received $1k for equipment
- New/returning senators sworn in
- GSA rep brought up possibility of showing the Ph.D. comics movie on campus. SA seemed interested, and likely willing to provide some funding.
- Student Research Symposium is being held at Tech Friday, April 13th.
- Need student reviewers and mentors
- Students encouraged to participate
- Registration deadline is Feb 10th
- Contact one of the GSA officers for more information about who to contact to volunteer
- Thesis printing was discussed
- GSA is looking into prices of printing in the GSA office vs other locations on campus and reimbursing. Will have results by next meeting
- Valentines Day Dinner
- 2 sections: grad and undergrad. Grad section will serve alcohol, undergrad section will not.
- GSA covers half the ticket price, so tickets only cost $10
- 80 students in each section, so tickets are limited
- Officer Elections
- GSA President position open.
- 2 Candidates
- Current GSA Information Officer Alisa Shtromberg
- Divya Suryakumar
- Divya Suryakumar won position with a vote of 10-17 with no one abstaining
- Science Olympiad is coming to Tech February 25th, 2012.
- Looking for volunteers to supervise events
- Contact one of the GSA officers for more information about who to contact to volunteer.
- Health Insurance
- Looking for input from graduate students regarding health insurance needs and/or issues.
- Will likely hold a separate meeting that will be announced at the next GSA general meeting
November 30, 2011
A new GSA president is needed for next semester. This is typically a year long appointment but coming in during the spring semester means it could only be 6 months, or a year, or a year.5, your choice really. If you are interested, let the GSA know. Date for nominations is the last day of finals, Dec. 15. Refer to the Constitution for a summary of responsibilities.
There is still a need for department reps. If you are interested let the GSA know. Reps for departments other than physics and EES are really needed.
A portion of the presidential funds have been set aside for TA travel. Unfortunately, it is only a max of $8000 a year. This has been an ongoing concern for TAs. As mentioned previously, if you are TAing and want/need to travel for research purposes, an advisors grant cannot pay for the travel due to tax reasons. There are stipulations saying if you are not currently being paid from the grant, you are not allowed to travel on the grant. A once per semester loophole is available through the travel office, mentioned previously. However, this is only once a semester and if multiple trips are needed then apparently you are up a creek. To help this problem, a portion of the presidential funds had been set aside for TA travel. But only $8000 a year. If you foresee this being a problem for you, get on it and talk to your adviser.
Portions of campus shutoff wireless access over breaks. This is being looked into. It does not mean your office will lose internet access, only the wireless is off and apparently intermittently. I don’t think this effects networks people have set up on their own though, only those provided by Tech (i.e. Fidel).
The TCC has a new plotter and giant scanner so we can start scanning each other once they figure out to charge for it.
There was mention of TCC working on a new email system.
November 2, 2011
Facebook page was brought up, everyone was invited to “like” it and advised to check the page for new events. Google Calendar on the new GSA website also used to inform students of upcoming events.
New officers were introduced.
Office hours were announced for new GSA office in Fidel. Encouraged people to come to have travel forms signed. All officers now have signature authority. Students were encouraged to have their travel forms submitted at least two weeks in advance of travel when possible.
Changes to Travel Grant Guidelines -
- All members of the GSA (degree-seeking AND fee-paying graduate students) will be able to apply for grants.
- Students may request funds for travel originating/terminating in any location (not just Socorro). If your travel does not originate or terminate in Socorro, then you are advised to fully explain your travel choice. The Travel Grant Review committee makes the final decision about what funds to award, and requests with inadequate explanations are unlikely to be funded.
- While it has not been enforced in the past, it is required that all students that receive an award from the GSA submit a Travel Summary upon their return. This summary need not be lengthy. If you presented at a conference, a copy of the conference abstract (plus proof of the presentation) is sufficient. If you conducted field work, a short summary of the work performed is sufficient. If you received a grant in Winter 2011, you will be required to submit this summary after your travel.
- Similarly, a student that ends up NOT using their award will be required to submit a summary explanation of this. Be aware that even if you don’t USE the award it still counts toward your award total. If you submit the summary explanation and there is a good reason you didn’t use the award (e.g., sickness, canceled conference) then you may be able to get the award removed from your record. This decision will be made by the Review Committee. If you can’t use the award for the original purpose, but there is an equally valid travel opportunity (in the travel period), then you may request to use your funds for this other travel. Again, this decision will be made by the Review Committee.
Student Association Meeting – Phil C. (Treasurer) is on the Finance Committee of the S.A.; this means that we will have some say in how our fees are used. All graduate students are welcome to attend the Student Association meetings; the SA meets every other Tuesday at 8PM in Workman 101.
Faculty Senate Meeting – Nothing particularly earth-shattering happened; some changes were approved that will affect incoming graduate students to certain programs.
Student-Administration Forum -
- Questions regarding our stipend were asked:
- Q: when can we expect a raise that accounts for the full increase in tuition/fees AND standard of living? A: the administration will look into things, but please remember that the whole university is experiencing a tight budget
- Q: why (exactly) do we pay tuition/fees when most universities provide waivers? A: no real answer was given, however we were warned that the state legislature wants to do away with all waivers (currently the only one at NMT is that out-of-state students oncontract can pay in-state tuition). We should keep our ears open about developments here, and be ready to express the appropriate concern at the appropriate time.
- There were a few questions about some of the policies for International Students; the conclusion here is that we (the GSA) need an International Student Representative to help clarify these issues. If you are interested in being this rep or if you have related questions, please contact the GSA.
Research Symposium Information Session – there is going to be a Research Symposium this coming April. This will be an opportunity for all students (grad and undergrad) to “showcase their research and design projects” to a non-technical audience. If you are interested or would like more information, please refer to the website. There was some discussion about the possibility of creating a graduate student contest for this symposium. While it is unlikely that we will convince the organizers to allow this, it is possible that we could restart the Graduate Student Research Symposium and include a competition component. If you are interested in such a possibility, please contact the GSA.
Thanksgiving Dinner – The Thanksgiving Dinner will be Monday, November 21 evening in the Student Activities Center. More details (cost, etc.) will be provided soon. Right now, we need some volunteers! You can sign up to:
- collect the can food donations at the door OR
- be a liaison to Chartwells throughout the evening, to ensure that ecerything runs smoothly
Both tasks require minimal effort; volunteers will earn points towards their next Travel Grant Application. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact the GSA.
October 12, 2011
Research Symposium – There is a campus wide research symposium planned for Friday, April 13th. This is to advertise your research to the entire campus and is geared for multidisciplinary research. It will be a forum to present what you are doing to a general audience and see what the rest of campus is doing. A survey for this was recently sent out.
Receipts – A recent email was circulated about a change in the receipt/reimbursement policy. There is no change, proceed as before. Apparently someone ripped the bar codes off some pizza boxes and wanted reimbursed causing the ruckus.
Graduate student travel reimbursement policy – Talk about TAs not being able to be reimbursed for travel was discussed. This arises from tax reasons. In the case Tech is audited and it is found a student was reimbursed for travel on from a grant they were not being paid for at the time of travel, a huge flag is raised and can come with great consequences. BUT, there is a one time supplement form available (one time as in once per semester). If you are a TA and are travelling to present/do research while on that TA, this form will allow the grant to pay for the travel. This is a case of Tech covering their own … Talk to the travel office or your advisor for more info.
Copyright forms – FYI, a copyright form must now be filled out before printing your dissertation/thesis. Tech is putting all of these online. The copyright form gives Tech permission to update your dissertation/thesis to whatever format they want. In the case there is sensitive patent or journal information that should not be put into a public forum, a one year hold can be put on the dissertation/thesis before it is published online.
Regent meetings – Possibility of the GSA having one non-voting member on the board of regents. The member would work in conjunction with the voting student member. Regent meetings are open to the public, check the Tech website for info.
Website – GSA has a new website. Alisa has more info.
GSA office in Fidel, room 171.
If you have any questions or concerns pertaining to the GSA, let me know or come to the meetings, there is free food (bacon and green chile pizza).